This evening the School Board adopted the recommendation of the district’s COVID-19 monitoring team to move into the orange phase of the reopening plan. The COVID monitoring team made up of local medical doctors, school staff, hospital personnel, county administration, and local public health officers, tracks public health data in real time in order to allow the district to quickly adapt to the constantly evolving circumstances of the pandemic.
This evening, I will be hosting a live stream to review our present plan. You can access this live stream, starting at 8:00 pm, by using the following link: youtu.be/ONIrDh4wLFc
The move to the orange phase is the result of growth in the region’s COVID-19 test positivity rate, (which has surpassed 8% locally, 9% at the state level, and 10% in Cheshire County) as well as the increasing number of cases within the nine communities, the increase of cases within New Hampshire, and increasing demands on the healthcare system.
There will be no changes to academic programming, as the district had already moved to remote learning under the segmented calendar it developed as part of its reopening plan. Students presently attending in person will continue to do so and our remote programs will continue as scheduled. There will be some changes to athletics. In accordance with the district’s reopening plan, all district athletic programs will be paused and will be reconsidered at the School Board meeting on January 5th, 2021.
I understand the disappointment our student athletes, coaches, and school communities will feel as a result of this change, but it is a step we must take given the increased risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in our area. Our reopening plan was designed with the likelihood of a surge in cases in the late fall and early winter in mind, so while sports programs will be temporarily interrupted, I’m grateful that we planned for a remote segment so there will not be an additional disruption to our students’ learning.
The segmented calendar calls for students to return to in-person learning on Jan. 19. The District continues to plan on that return and the Covid Monitoring Team will continue to watch public health metrics daily.
To view the district’s full reopening plan, click here.
To prevent further spread of the disease in the community, ConVal district leaders remind all members of the community to practice the following COVID-19 prevention strategies.
- Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, please adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Children may worry about themselves, their family and friends getting sick with COVID-19. Tips for talking to children about COVID-19 can be found here.
To learn more about COVID-19, please check these trusted resources:
The ConVal School District recently urged the entire community to pledge to stay safe during the remote learning period. To learn more about the ConVal Community Pledge, click here.